tom callaway (spot) wrote,
tom callaway
spot

FUDCon Milan: Day -1

Dennis Gilmore and I traveled together to Milan, starting from Boston (Dennis was in Boston for Red Hat meetings). We flew from Boston to Madrid on Iberia, got in the exit row, which was nice, but it was the one at the beginning of the section, so, no underseat storage. I didn't sleep, because I have a lot of trouble sleeping on planes. When we got to Madrid, it was a bit confusing, but we managed to find our gate and wait the two hours for our flight to Milan. In contrast to our half empty flight to Madrid, the flight to Milan was _PACKED_ full, mostly of teenage girls on some sort of school trip (I can only assume they were chaperoned, but I didn't see any). Iberia doesn't have much leg room at all on their smaller planes, so that flight was pretty miserable (and loud).

When we arrived in Milan (Malpensa), we had to wait a long time for Dennis's checked bag, but I'm quite used to extremely slow baggage service at European airports. Then we cleared the simplest customs process I've ever seen, which was basically just one handler with a large dog. As we approached the dog, he started to go nuts jumping and signalling all over a guy in front of us who was covered from fingertip to hairline in elaborate tattoos. We just walked around the scene, giving the dog a wide berth, and we were out.

We were hoping to be able to find a pre-paid SIM card so we could have reasonable phones with data, but we couldn't find it at the airport, so we decided to just head to the train. Having heard some horror stories about trying to take cabs in Italy, I had planned out the train route to our hotel in advance. We got tickets for the airport train into the city (after making sure we got onto the right train to Milano Centrale), which was rather nice and uneventful. Once we got to the Milano Centrale station, things got a lot more complicated, as we needed to change to the Metro subway system. We found the Metro eventually, but buying a ticket was... difficult. None of the machines would take any of our plastic, and neither of us had any Euros. To make things more complicated, there were Gypsys (at least, they were dressed as such) standing firmly in front of all of the ticket machines eagerly pressing the buttons for people on the machines, especially obvious tourists with bags. I knew that there was some sort of scam going on there (the internet lists quite a few possibilities, including simple pickpocketing), so I ended up buying our Metro tickets from a nearby store after pulling Euros from an ATM. The clerk didn't have change for 50 Euros in her register till, but she made change out of her purse. I suppose we looked pathetic. :)

Finally, on the M3 Yellow Line train, we got off at the station I'd mapped out, but as I had feared, European street signs are either in-congruent with Google Maps or just outright absent. A few wrong turns and I got my bearings and we found our hotel. We met up with Peter Robinson and Jared Smith and got a late lunch at a nearby Italian (what else?) restaurant. I had a quite nice Basil Pesto and Mozzarella Lasagna, Dennis had Beef wrapped cheese ravioli, Jared had Tuna Tartare and Peter had Steak Tartare. Since I was really dead on my feet at that point (Dennis was much better off as he slept on the long flight), I didn't have anything to drink except water, even though the bar kept pouring interesting looking shots for one of the other tables. There is plenty of time for that later. :)

After eating, I went back to the hotel and just crashed. I couldn't figure out the hotel wireless, and I was just so exhausted that I decided to watch a movie on my laptop to stay awake as long as possible, but eventually around 7 PM, I just gave in and slept. Of course, I woke up at 10 PM, so I took a shower to hose the stink of travel off of me (honestly, one of the better showers I've had in a European hotel, which isn't saying much, but it was hot and strong). I ran into John McDonough and his daughter in the elevator to the lobby, where they let me know that people were doing the traditional "Cafe American" thing for dinner and drinks, but I just wasn't up for it, so I passed along my hellos and got the wireless access info from the lobby. Went back to the room, got on the VPN through Amsterdam, and caught up on email. Now, I'm going to try to force myself to sleep some more and be ready for tomorrow.

Some minor technical notes:
* Chromium 14 "stable" is building now for all targets (updates to the chromium-stable repo coming as soon as they're done). I had to disable Native Client support (NaCl), because in order to build it, you need to have the "Native Client SDK", which is a forked and modified copy of an older GNU toolchain (binutils, glibc, gcc 4.4). I looked for the source code for it at length, but the only thing I found was a set of gitweb repos that I couldn't figure out how to clone (http://git.chromium.org/gitweb/?p=native_client/nacl-gcc.git;a=summary for example). If you can tell me how to clone that repo, I would appreciate it, as I would like to try to package those components up and then use them to build the Chromium NaCl support.
* I had to update libjingle to 0.6.0 in order to get Chromium to build, then I had to patch Chromium to support the 0.6.0 changes. Usually, its the other way around, where I have to copy changes from Chromium's bundled libjingle fork into the libjingle upstream tree, but I guess I happened to catch it on the opposite end of the swing. Still not entirely sure how that relationship works within Google, but it sure doesn't look healthy at this angle.
* Noticed still more bundled code projects in Chromium (in case you're curious, the number just keeps going up, not down). I haven't had the time to really try to unbundle them, and a lot of them are "Google" owned projects, which means there is a good chance that the code doesn't work in a standalone capacity anyways (skia, I'm looking at you).

FUDCon Stuff:
* I'm really excited to be here, I especially want to see old friends from previous FUDCons and meet new friends. Please don't be shy, if you see a tall shaggy haired American with a nametag that says "spot", please come by and say hi. Let me know what you're excited about, what you like (or don't like, but please be nice).
* I don't have any planned topics, but if there is something you'd like me to talk about, please let me know.
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